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This Week at Café

July 10th, 2011
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This Week at
The latest in Konstantin's Kool&Klean series is Volume II, and that's the feature cd on the showcase segment. Highlighting hour 2 is Fresh Trax with selections at the forefront of the new music scene. Jonathan Fritzén and British producer Michael e headline this installment; debuting is Neamen Lyles; while David Hughes and D. Edward fill out the feature. Also appearing on this 'Rolls-Royce' edition are Boney James, Steve Oliver, and Cindy Bradley; favourites by David Benoit, Peter White, Walter Beasley, and Acoustic Alchemy are part of a re-wind set; but first though, it's a real nice tune from the 90s and it's by Billy Joe Walker Jr.!
In This Issue:

Kool&Klean Volume II - Konstantin

Let's Chill - Neamen
Disco - David Hughes
The Passage - D.Edward
Senor Sandoval - Michael e
Friday Night - Jonathan Fritzén

AFTER HOURS : Circle of Friends
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#623

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Showcase CD
Kool&Klean Volume II - Konstantin:

A versatile and experienced sax player, Konstantin Klashtorni has toured and performed thru out Europe and South America. The Ukrainian born musician began his studies in jazz at the State College in Kiev, while exploring forms such as hard bop & cool jazz. In 1995, Konstantin relocated to Venezuela, where as part of the Biella Da Costa band, he gained the opportunity to play the Montreux Jazz Festival. That experience and his exposure to the rhythms of Latin American music all served to further enrich his own musical personality. By the year 2000, Konstantin had crossed the Atlantic again, this time settling in Holland. He resumed his training at the Rotterdam Conservatory and then earned a Masters in Music from the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag. Tours through Spain, France, Germany, and other European countries, further broadened his perspectives and led to his 2004 debut. In the intervening years, the well-travelled saxplayer has issued a string of well received albums while ever continuing to made inroads on the smooth scene.

Konstantin - Kool&Klean Volume II
Always inspired by the music of Paul Hardcastle and The Jazzmasters, a couple of years back Konstantin came up with the idea to pursue a parallel path even while continuing to record and perform under his own name. So it was that the Kool&Klean concept came into being, a studio project focusing on cool atmospheric melodies combined with blues licks that blurs the lines between smooth and electronica. The initial album was packaged for release just last year and the positive response led to the quick issue of a follow-up in what we can only hope will be a multi-disc venture!
So it's Konstantin's Kool&Klean Volume II that's now the focal point for the spotlight feature - and in the order that they're played we have the tracks Dream, Reality, and So What. As the smooth genre continues to evolve in the new millennium, it's Konstantin's Kool&Klean series that's blazing a trail with as bold and fresh a musical statement as has come along in many a year!

CD: Kool&Klean Volume II (2011)
Label: KVK Music

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Neamen - So Free
Let's Chill - Neamen:
So Free introduces a new fresh voice on the smooth scene in Tucson-based Neamen (pronounced Nee-Amen) Lyles. Through high school and college, Lyles participated in a variety of clinics, festivals, and tours and in 2003 he received a degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Arizona. In the time since, his star has continued to rise, as the front man for Prime Example - in recent months, the band has shared the stage with Gregg Karukas and Jeff Lorber while Neamen was privileged to be billed alongside Dave Koz. So it is that So Free, Neamen's debut, is now the culmination of many years of dedication to his craft. The cd was produced by Phoenix native Jay Soto, who also contributes guitar, keys, and writing credits to the project, while additionally there's an all-star cast - among them Brian Simpson, Jeff Lorber, Mel Brown, and Freddie Fox. According to Neamen, "The album is … focused on current pop music in its appearance and delivery, but at the core it always reaches for the artistic maturity of jazz." From that effort, Let's Chill is a selection that augers to be on our 2011 year end list of favourites!

CD: So Free (2011)
Label: N1 Studios
David Hughes - Cruising Along
Disco - David Hughes:
Swedish bass man, David Hughes studied at the Royal College in Stockholm before attending the Bass Institute of Technology in LA. Upon being named 'outstanding student' when he graduated, Hughes promptly turned around and joined the institute's teaching faculty. Meanwhile he made substantial inroads in the studio and as a live musician; his credits include the Jazz Crusaders, Chaka Khan, Melissa Etheridge, and Chick Corea as well as playing for film and TV. Although he debuted as a lead man in 2003, for many years Hughes has enjoyed a steady gig touring and recording with David Benoit. Now with a catalogue of 4 cds under his own name, we're playing a bit of catch-up with Hughes and his 2010 Cruising Along. From an album 'intended as a sonic backdrop for the open road', Rique Pantoja on piano takes a turn behind the wheel on a dancehall track called Disco!

CD: Cruising Along (2010)
Label: Independent

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
D.Edward - Little Red Box
The Passage - D.Edward:
Hailing from the San Francisco bay area, in high school D. Edward (aka D.E. Chung) discovered conga percussion which became his passion along with songwriting. After playing Afro-Haitian dance as well as Jazz and Symphonic bands, he studied Jazz arranging, voice and music theory while in college. Over the years Edward has played a variety of gigs, and currently performs with the R&B band Con Funk Shun while continuing his studio work. In his youth, Edward had always been drawn to the lyrics of the songs that he heard on the radio and so now, Little Red Box is a glimpse into his musical upbringing and influences. The concept behind the project is love and fortune and while he plays percussion and keys, it also represents Edward's debut as a vocalist. From among the eleven originals, we've opted for the heartfelt melody and groove of The Passage featuring Amy Nix soloing on the grand piano together with the sax work of Ron Moton and the electric guitar of Paul Hunt. This is as solid as they come!

CD: Little Red Box (2011)
Label: Independent
Michael e - Departures & Arrivals
Señor Sandoval - Michael e:
Here's the follow through on a promise from the last show with the second half of a Michael e double bill. The latest cd to drop is Departures & Arrivals, a special edition that was issued on the Sub HZ imprint. Once again it's a masterful mix of chill, lounge, and other ambient styles, and from it we present the uniquely tagged Senor Sandoval. In Michael's own words, "I was finishing the track and casting around for a title … at the same time a guy in Mexico was messaging me regularly on Facebook saying what a fan he was of my music … I wanted to suggest a South American vibe and so the thought hit me I'll call it Mr. Sandoval, after the Mexican guy. I quite liked the ring of the word Sandoval, as you know there is an Arturo Sandoval, and this Mexican guy was called Monte Sandoval. Mr. doesn't quite cut it for a South American vibe so it became Senor Sandoval."

CD: Departures & Arrivals (2011)
Label: Sub HZ
Jonathan Fritzén - Friday Night Friday Night - Jonathan Fritzén:
With three top releases on Nordic Night Records in the past three years, Jonathan Fritzén has emerged as a top contender for the title 'the next superstar in smooth'. With a combination of style and drive second to none, the Swedish keyboardist appears destined for inclusion in the upper echelons of the genre. Each project has created an ever broadening fan base with Fritzén as one of the main draws for some of the 'smooth cruises' that have become so much in vogue. Now poised for stardom, the next stage in the journey is the just issued Friday Night - a single specifically written and recorded for Woodward Avenue Records. Mixed by Darren Rahn and featuring Nate Najar on guitar, here's a great up-tempo tune full of the promise that only Friday night can bring!

Single: Friday Night (2011)
Label: Woodward Avenue Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Circle of Friends: You might call this edition a gathering of friends. As part of our ongoing connections series, this collection includes a sequence of tracks all linked to the word friend. So be it Dan Carlin and Friends or Max Groove with Friends Again, we're getting buddy buddy with a Circle of Friends named for a Grady Nichols track. There's Best Friends by Spyro Gyra, Good Friends from Joni Mitchell, and Denny Jiosa with Among Friends as well as Old Friends like Paul Brown that go back a few years! Playlist for Ed#623

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